Posted by: rachelanne229 | September 6, 2010

Friday the 13th in spooky Salem

Road Trip Extravaganza

Day 8

13 August 2010—FRIDAY THE 13th!

Salem, MA and Stark, NH

Dee and I awoke early to another sunny and warm day.  There was something eerie about this day tho—it was Friday the 13th.  Dee had had the brilliant idea that we trek up to Salem on this spooky day, and I thought this was the best idea yet.  For some reason we haven’t quite figured out, Deidre and I love to be scared.  We scare ourselves to death with horror flicks, and keep coming back for more.  As kids, we’d get together with our friends in our babysitter’s basement and make haunted houses, using peeled grapes for eyeballs and cooked spaghetti for brains, etc.  So we thought it was completely appropriate that we head up to Salem and see what kind of scares we could get ourselves into.

First, we had stuff to do in Cambridge tho!  We finished the Time Traveler’s Wife, were only semi-impressed, and then I used my powers of persuasion to make Deidre think she wanted to embark on a 5-mile run with me!  This from the girl who hates running, who once ran a 5-mi road race with me and was so angry she could barely spit out the words, “I. Hate. You.” as I told her to pump her arms up the hill and provided words of encouragement and comfort like “we’re almost there!” (at mile 3) as we puttered along.  Luckily for me, this race was a couple years ago, and had begun to fade in Deidre’s memory, so we set out for a lovely 5-miler all decked out in our new workout clothes, which always makes running more fun.  I took her around the Fresh Pond loop, and she loved it!  Well, I wouldn’t exactly say “loved,” but she did great, and we finished in less than an hour.  I was so pumped that she ran it with me, although I couldn’t quite convince her to put in another three with me and round it up to 8.  I have to admit, this run was my favorite of the entire summer.  Not only did we run in a primo spot and have terrific weather, but my running buddy just happened to be my favorite person in the world!

We got back and showered up so we could head to lunch.  Once we arrived at Davis Square, we decided on a little diner called the Rosebud.  Dee ordered pancakes and I got the meatloaf special, because meatloaf + potatoes + gravy make up my personal version of heaven.  We also sucked down some iced coffees since we knew we had a big day ahead of us.  I put an entire thing of cream in mine, because the best coffee is the kind that doesn’t taste like coffee at all.

not much better than pancakes and iced coffee

except this

and homemade minestrone

We enjoyed our lunches, quickly checked out the Buffalo Exchange (you never know when you might catch a good deal) and headed out of town to gas up before we left.  At the gas station I realized I didn’t have my credit card, and after a brief moment of panic and cursing, sped back to the Rosebud.  The ladies had seen me leave it on the table, but weren’t able to catch me before we left the diner, and they set it aside.  Crisis averted!

Now back to Salem.  According to my TomTom, which Deidre calls Nigel and I call Jim, we had a 37-minute drive to Salem.  Piece of cake.  According to reality, the drive sucked up 2 hrs and 37 minutes of our afternoon.  I will leave out the description of the road ragy-ness of this day; quite frankly, it is embarrassing, although much warranted.  The drive was afflicted with detours and idiots, and I swear every car on the east coast found its way to northeastern Mass on this particular afternoon.  We sat and sat and sat.  Last year my New Year’s resolution was to become a more patient person, but I was too impatient to see it through, so needless to say, this drive pushed my buttons in all the wrong places and I was ready to have a coronary by the time we got to Salem.  And then finding a parking place!  GAH.  We were already running late, and I knew we wouldn’t get to our cousins’ place in NH, where we were staying that nite, till late, and then we’d be tired for our Mt. Wash hike, and GOOD LORD I was annoyed at stupid Salem.  Who really cares about old graveyards and fake tarot readings and séances and wax museums that cost a bajillion dollars to enter anyway?

witch monument in here

coming into town

Finally, we found a place to ditch the Blueberry, and since we were there, decided to make the best of the town in the one hour we had allotted ourselves.

she had it coming

you got the wrong sister!

poignant to read

gave us the chills

old burying ground

hey real witches, i'll cast a spell on yer mom

oh look, yer mom's already here!

We followed the walking path around the town and stopped into Count Orlok’s Nightmare Gallery.  This place was ballin’!  For students, the admission was only $6, so we excitedly paid, and got ready to get our pants scared off.  This small gallery had life size replicates of the monsters from every scary movie you can think of.  It the clown, Carrie, the little girl from the Exorcism, Freddy, Jason, Jack Nicholson from the Shining, and Count Dracula all made appearances as we wound our way thru the darkened hallways.  The Nightmare Gallery had been rated #1 out of 38 things to do in Salem, and it was pretty sweet, we both agreed.  We left sufficiently frightened, and sufficiently thrilled.


We walked around Salem some more, but everything was starting to close, and we decided we needed to boogie.

boogeying up the new england pirate museum

Dee had to pee (obviously), so we went into a gas station to pee and to look for something quick for supper, since we’d miss suppertime up in NH and didn’t really have time to stop and eat.  The gas station had nothing besides exorbitantly priced meatball subs and Slim Jim’s, and we didn’t feel like fast food, so we decided to suck it up and eat whatever we had left in the car.  Our rations pretty much consisted of stuck-together marshmallows, graham crackers, and carrots, but somehow we managed.

Around six or so we started driving to Tom and Heather’s place in Stark, NH.  Little did I know this drive would take an estimated FOUR HOURS; I expected it to be more along the lines of two.  Even so, this drive was surreal.  Deep in the mountains of New Hampshire, we watched a glorious sunset and were blown away by the beauty of the landscape.

sun setting over the white mountains

The last couple hours of driving were pitch black, and fluorescent DANGER signs regarding moose accidents dotted the highway.  We felt like we were driving into the middle of nowhere, into the heart of the boonies, which is saying something for us country bumpkins.  Around 9:45 we turned off onto a dirt road with very few houses.  The road seemed to keep going forever, and I wondered if Jim/Nigel was leading us into a deserted swamp to be hacked by a chainsaw murderer.  Dee and I both exclaimed that this place would be a great locale for a horror movie!  We found the correct “side street” off the dirt road finally, but Jim/Nigel tried to get me to drive into the middle of the woods after tearing thru some poor person’s driveway, which I refrained from doing.  We couldn’t make out any numbers on the few houses on the road, so we drove and drove around trying to figure out which one might look like Tom and Heather’s.  Finally, on our third or so loop, we saw porch lights flashing, felt like dumbasses since we had sat in this driveway trying to make out a house number for a good three minutes, and quickly pulled in.

We got warm greetings from our cuz Heather and her husband Tom, and then Tom called us hicks and sassed us for wanting to climb Mt. Washington.  Apparently a young guy they knew had slipped the week before and was in the hospital suffering head injuries after his attempt at the summit.  Their kids had waited up to see us for awhile, but had to get to bed before we got there, so we sat up for a bit and chatted with Tom and Heather.  Deidre and I have loved Tom and Heather ever since they visited us up in Maine when we were kids.  They picked us up from our grandparents’ place, took us food shopping (putting everything our little hearts desired into their cart, from s’mores supplies to DORITOS!!!), and took us swimming up at the camp and made us hotdogs wrapped in pieces of bread.  Such badass cousins.  Heather gave us a tour of the house, which they had been painting all day, and we watched some of the Sox game till 11, when we decided we absolutely had to get to bed.  We set the alarm clocks for 4:20 am, and played Rock, Paper, Scissors for the comfy double bed vs. the bunk beds.  Since I always win Rock, Paper, Scissors, I sunk into the luxuriousness of the big bed, and drifted off to sleep before I could even finish my prayers that we wouldn’t slip off a big rock and crack our heads on our trek up the mountain.  This Friday the 13th had turned out pretty good after all.

Next:  We STILL have point four miles left?! : the Dicker girls summit the highest mountain in New England and live to tell the tale (and make a phone call from the top!)



  1. love your posts rach! Ok, actually this is the first one I got to read yet, but I’m planning on reading them ALL! youre so funny! P.s. I KNEW I was your favie!

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